My goals as an artist are to create my own story, to find other people’s stories and to interweave them together. I do this by researching photographs taken by somebody else (historical images and other found images), using those images for my sculptural work, and documenting my present surroundings using my own camera.

For the last few years, I have been working on a series Invisible Lands, essentially paper-cutout abstract landscapes based on found family photographs from the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan. Invisible Lands started in 2012 when I participated in an exhibition at Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with Lost & Found Project, a photo rescue project in Japan. For the exhibition, 6000 photographs damaged by Tsunami were shipped from Japan. The water wiped off photo chemicals and ink, and the photo surfaces were almost lost. What would happen if we lose everything in one day? It might be because of disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes, or something simpler like the end of relationships. What’s left for us might remind us of happy memories but also become the relics that only remind us of sadness. However we cannot live without our memories.

I felt that each photograph from the Lost & Found Project was the proof of someone else, but it is missing the existence of the photographer, the model(s) and the landscape. I found it interesting that all of these photographs now point only to the city of Yamamoto, Miyagi and nearby areas, because that’s where these photographs were found. Some of the photographs are permanently missing the information of the photographs original locations, where they were originally taken, and by whom and with whom. I always think that the accumulation of each person’s memories creates his/her world that contains traces of his/her activities. In my Invisible Lands project, I create this invisible world that someone lost forever.